What is Party Wall Act 1996 and Why is it Important

The Party Wall etc. Act 1996 is a UK law that regulates building and renovation work that affects party walls, boundary walls, and excavations near neighbouring buildings. The Act gives property owners a way to avoid and settle disagreements that might come up over these works.

Most Important Sections

The Act covers England and Wales and is broken up into three main parts:

Section 1 – Party Walls 

This section is about work that needs to be done on walls that are shared by two properties. The Act says that property owners have to give their neighbours notice at least two months before starting any work that might affect the party wall. This includes building on the wall or right next to it, cutting into it, or digging near it.

Section 2 – Boundary Walls and Fences

This section is about work on the walls and fences that separate properties. It has the same notice requirements as section 1, and the work can’t go past the boundary line without permission from the neighbour.

Section 6 – Excavations

This section is about digging around buildings that are close by. Property owners must let their neighbours know about any digging that might affect the foundations of their homes, and they must make sure that the work doesn’t do any damage.

The Act also has rules about how to settle disagreements between property owners. Property owners can hire a surveyor to work on their behalf and come to an agreement on a “party wall award,” which outlines the work that can be done, how it will be done, and any safety precautions that need to be taken.


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